Contribution of Blockchain to Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is an Industrial Revolution that includes innovations with emerging technologies. Blockchain is one of the emerging technologies that has potential to revolutionize upcoming industrial applications. It incorporates improved security, transparency, and privacy for small as well as large enterprises. It enhances the manufacturing and supply chain environment. Meanwhile, it gains much recognition in the current industrial revolution due to its incomparable potential.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is the fourth Industrial Revolution that is emerging the way we work or live. It ensures the interaction and connectivity amongst the machines, and humans. Now, humans can interact with machines in an automated manner that improves the production, efficiency, and quality of life. Along with this, the revolution promises to establish the trusted networks that remove the need of middlemen. It also synthesizes new production methods that allow the manufacturers to achieve intended and strategic objectives more rapidly.
What is blockchain?
Blockchain is a distributed and decentralized database. It stores digital information in the form of groups known as blocks. The blocks possess certain storage capacities, and are linked to each other to form a chain, known as a blockchain. Each block is time stamped and irreversible in the blockchain. Once a block is filled with data up to its limit, then the next data is entered into a fresh or next block of the chain.
Contributions of Blockchain to Industry 4.0:
Digital Supply chains
Blockchain is an enabler for IoT based decentralized supply chain networks. It enhances the connectivity, performance , analytical capabilities, and sophisticated data-gathering capabilities of the digital supply chains. IoT environments connect physical objects with data to deliver tracking of devices and smart sensors. It enables more efficient manufacturing processes, business ecosystems, and smarter supply chains. Meanwhile, blockchain enables transactions via smart contracts at the core of the supply chain network. The technology also improves traceability of the products throughout the supply chain. Moreover, it improves the coordination between the partners.
The permissioned blockchain uses new standards, and rules for governing the supply chain transactions. It addresses the tracking issues at all the levels of blockchain. Along with this, the technology addresses a long running challenge of visibility in large supply chains. Now, there would be no execution errors and supply chain conflicts between involved parties such as customers, sellers, and banks. It is possible due to elimination of intermediaries and deployment of self-executing contracts known as smart contracts. In short, we can say blockchain eliminates the blind spots to simplify the information, inventory, and money flow in the supply chain.
The initial focus of blockchain is the financial sectors. It ensures trusted and well-established financial transactions. The blockchain eliminates the issues related to foreign currencies and fiat money. It also monitors the money circulation in the supply transactions. Moreover, it increases the picking speed of implementation.
Intellectual property management
Blockchain protects ideas of the SMEs in a simple and transparent manner with a lesser number of intermediaries. It fosters innovation amongst the entities and makes them accessible to the patent world. Meanwhile, it serves a technology-based IP registry by using smart contracts. It also influences accountability, transparency, security, and immutability in the realm of Intellectual property management.
Blockchain is potent to address the challenges within the traditional supply chains, and transform them into digital ones. This transformation provides an improved supply chain, and results in a fully connected, and trusted supply chain network. It simplifies the information, inventory, money flow and much more in the supply chain.
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